Planning & Development Services

Storm Damage Repair Permitting Process and Information

Structural Damage:
If you have experienced damage to your home or business due to a weather event, Planning and Development Services (PDS) is ready to help you quickly assess and repair your property damage. It is important that you carefully and safely assess any structural damage to your home or business.  Do not enter the building if you observe the structural integrity is compromised.

If you have sustained damage to your home or business from a storm, please take photos to document the damage and verify that repairs are necessary. Bring the photos with you and come into our Permit Center. Permit Center staff will use our Building Services Emergency Repair Permit policy to assess your situation and determine if you will be eligible to use this expedited process.

Our Building Services Emergency Repair Review process allows you to get to work quickly to repair your home/business and the fees assessed are reduced to reflect the simplified process. Permit Center staff will discuss the damage and your planned scope of work to complete the repairs. If it is determined you can do an Emergency Repair you then pay the reduced review fee of $377.44. A Public Service Inspector will then come out to your location to verify the damage and permit scope of work. If the damage is more extensive it may require you to pay for additional inspections. They may also find the repairs are outside the scope of work qualifying for an Emergency Repair and you may be required to obtain additional permits or assessments to ensure the structure is safe. Any damage to the electrical system due to flooding or impact from debris will require a separate permit through Washington State Labor and Industries for the electrical work.

Storm Debris:
Another possible issue you may need to address is debris caused or deposited by a storm. If you have downed branches, drift wood, sediment, rocks or sand deposited by a storm surge or high wind you will have to be sure to remove it in a safe way that is within the correct best management practices outlined in whatever Environmental regulation your property is subject to--depending on the placement and severity of the debris you may or may not be required to obtain a permit.

If you are near a shoreline you are subject to the Shoreline Management Program (SMP) and must proceed carefully to ensure the sensitive nature of the Shoreline is not compromised. The SMP along with the Department of Ecology determine how the any work done within the Shoreline is completed. We have developed a Shoreline Cleanup FAQ document to help guide your approach to your cleanup efforts.

Links:
*Washington State Labor & Industries information regarding Flood Safety & Hazards After a Flood 
*Whatcom County Emergency Management Incident Hotline 
*Labor and Industries Electrical Permitting
*Department of Ecology Shoreline Management
*PDS Shoreline Management Resource Page

Planning and Development Services Mission Statement

The mission of Planning and Development Services is to ensure growth and development occurs in a manner that protects public health, safety and welfare, preserves the natural environment and ensures the quality of life enjoyed by citizens and visitors in Whatcom County is maintained and enhanced.